Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's Raining Dollars From Heaven

Tuesday night's commission meeting happened in the snazzy new chambers which has everything but bottle service in the VIP area.  Located in the old Sabadell Bank branch at 1666 JFK Causeway, the village laid out a cool unbudgeted $49,000 to hold the four hour long meeting there.  And what a great investment!  New, hard chairs, no TV service yet, and a cozy compact space because why would you want to have enough room for residents to come when the space can be better used for people who get money from the village?   There was room for the money hounds to praise Mrs. Kreps and that's what matters in this regime.

Total for move to cramped new quarters:  $49,000                 *budgeted $0
Total to fund the Police Athletic League:  $0                          *budgeted $35,000
Total to fund the Crime Watch Program:   $0                          *budgeted $10,000

First the principal of Treasure Island Elementary School got up to thank the commission for the $130,000 we have spent on the school IB program, a program vehemently rejected by Mrs. Kreps in the past, and talked about the conferences, travel and shopping the teachers were able to do with the bucks.   What she didn't include was how well or poorly the students are performing and I would have been much more pleased to hear that. 

Total Village Funding for the IB Program:   $130,000             *budgeted $130,000
Number of Performance Indicators:                0                        *Mrs. Kreps opposes measurements.

Moving along, the village passed a resolution authorizing $52,000 from the Parks and Rec Reserve to fund a design by their good friends at Kimley-Horn.  The design is for two pedestrian plazas on either side of the bridge to Miami Beach and a walkway under the bridge to connect the Bay Walk which we don't have.   There is nowhere to connect.  The Bridgewater, like the rest of the waterfront condos, has refused to comply with their zoning abatements that require them to open the waterfront to the public.   But Mrs. Kreps said "We have to think of the future." and it rained over a $100,000 (half us, half state) on Kimley-Horn who are dear friends of hers.  

In the meantime, the Tot Lot on Treasure Island is filled with cat feces, fleas, snakes and vermin.   Seriously, I brought the grandniece there and she came back covered in flea bites.   There are no plans to fix it.   The Rec Plan, in place for two years, has not moved forward at all.  

Total Village Funding for the Thought Experiment:  $52,500    *budgeted from the Parks fund.
Total Village Funding to repair the Tot Lot:                $0            *budgeted but not even planned.
Total Village Funding to develop Rec Plan:                $0             *budgeted but not planned.  

The police have access to something called the Law Enforcement Trust Fund.  This is money for capital expenditures to improve public safety.  The public on Treasure Island has been demanding Closed Circuit Television and Crime Watch.   The public on Harbor Island has been desperate for a parking  solution.   Both of these are prime candidates for LETF moneys.   Instead, the PD is spending $12,500 on Magic Water to baptize our appliances so if they are stolen, and if they are pawned at a shop that has a magic decoder reader, and if the water works, we might could get them back.  And they are planning to distribute it through the Crime Watch which does not yet exist in most of the village because they don't have funds.   Also, they are putting GPS in the police cars in a village that is .84 of a square mile.  

Total Village Funding for GPS and Baptismal Water:   $43,500   *not budgeted and not asked for. 
Total Village Funding for CCTV Cameras:                    $0            *universally requested

Remember, our taxes went up 15%, our water 16% .  

Finally, Richard Chervony spoke about the urgent need for new wastewater, hardened infrastructure and undergrounding the electrical grid.  There's a good breakdown here:  Miami Herald May 15. As is their custom, Mrs. Kreps did not look at Chervony while he made his proposal and did not comment on it.  She simply pretended to be reading the agenda instead.   The only commissioner who acknowledged hearing it was the Vice Mayor Eddie Lim who must be getting tired of the mean girl antics on the dais.  There's a problem and he knows it. 

Total Village Funding to Fix the Sewers:                    $0            *State is giving $600,000

So not a good night for North Bay Village but a very good night for the friends of Mrs. Kreps. 

Kevin Vericker
May 15, 2014

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